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Using Compression Couplings to Repair Sprinkler Pipe
During a new installation of PVC sprinkler pipes, joints are normally installed using solvent-cement fittings. This becomes harder, though, when you are trying to replace a broken segment of pipe when the rest of the lines are already in place. There simply is not enough slack to easily insert replacement pipe and glue them in place when the system is already installed.
In this situation, a very good option is using a PVC compression fitting. This fitting seals by squeezing washers tightly against the pipes, and it requires no measuring or gluing to use. All that's necessary is to cut away the bad section of pipe and insert a compression fitting to replace the bad section. If the damage involves a large section of pipe, you can make the repair with a length of replacement pipe and two compression fittings to join each end of the pipe to the existing system.
Note: compression couplings cannot withstand pulling, pushing, or bending They are great to use in the ground where they remain motionless and don’t have to support any weight, but in exposed locations, traditional solvent-glue fittings are the better way to make repairs.Continue to 2 of 7 below.
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Step 1: Prepare the Pipe
Cut a small gap out of the broken pipe, about 1 inch wide, to make room for the compression coupling. Clean both ends of the pipe.
If the damaged area is large, you can cut out a wide section of pipe, but you will need a length of replacement pipe and two compression fittings to make the repair.Continue to 4 of 7 below.
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Step 2: Position the Slip Nuts and Washers
Remove both ends of the compression coupling. Begin by slipping one compression nut over each exposed end of the pipe, with the threaded socket pointing toward the break in the pipe. Next, slip a rubber washer over each exposed end of the pipe, after the compression nut.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
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Step 3: Align the Coupling
Next, insert the compression coupling onto the pipe. Align the center of the coupling with the gap in the pipe.Continue to 6 of 7 below.
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Step 4: Slide Washers and Nuts into Place
While holding the coupling with one hand, slide first the compression washer, then the nut, onto each end of the coupling. Thread the nuts loosely onto the threaded ends of the fitting.
Note: Make sure that you slide the washer into place to form a good seal before you screw the nuts into place.Continue to 7 of 7 below.
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Step 5: Tighten the Fitting and Check the Seal
Use one set of channel-type pliers to hold the center of the coupling in place while using the second set of pliers to tighten each compression nut onto the filling. Be careful to not over-tighten, because it is very easy to break the compression nut if you use too much force.
Check for leaks. If you spot seeping, tight the nuts just slightly more. Once you are confident the joint is not leaking, fill in the excavation and bury the pipe.